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Hello everyone! What are some of your favorite things to do on Sabbath? I like to watch nature shows, listen to music, and read! :)

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Prayer for a Friend

by LaFranche La Borde

Got something to pray about? Get ready for an answer!

Ring, ring, ring! My sister rushed to pick up the phone. Not many people call our house, so we always race to answer it. Then she handed the phone to me. It was my best friend, Chanté,* on the other end.
“I have to ask you something,” she said.
I detected an urgency in her voice. “OK,” I answered.
“What if you had to take a test, and it was on the eleventh—would you do it?”
I already knew what day the eleventh was. “So, you’re asking me if I’d take a test on Sabbath?”
“Uhhh . . . yeah,” she slowly said.
“Nope,” I simply answered.
“Oh,” she said almost in a whisper.
“Are you thinking about taking a test on Sabbath?” I asked.
“Yeah,” she responded.
More silence.
“Well, I really need to take this test,” she started explaining. “I need a good ACT score to get into college.”
My turn to be silent. I contemplated how important the reverence of the Sabbath is to God.
“Well, Chanté, I don’t know what to say.”
Silence again.
Yes, I did know what to say. “Chanté, you should pray about it and leave it in God’s hands. That’s all I can say.”
Chanté’s response surprised me. “I can’t do that. I have to take this test in order to get into college. The score I received the first time isn’t good enough to get into a college.”
I knew she was avoiding saying that she couldn’t leave this situation in God’s hands, which made me sad. I wondered if I were actually speaking to my Seventh-day Adventist best friend. This seemed so unlike her.
“Chanté, you shouldn’t take the test on Sabbath,” I said gently but firmly. “I understand that you want to get into college. We’ve talked many times about the pressure on you to pass tests in order to graduate and get into a good college. I definitely understand what you’re going through.”
This type of struggle was all new to Chanté. I could hear her frustration—she was having a tough time making the right decision. “I’ll pray for you,” I volunteered.
Many times in the past I’d faced problems that I couldn’t solve, and so I felt as though God couldn’t solve them either. After I realized I couldn’t struggle with the problem anymore, I knew I needed to just place it in God’s hands.
Chanté felt helpless. I had to help her understand the other decision she had to make besides whether or not to take the test on Sabbath—leaving it in God’s hands. I just wanted her to make the right decision.
A few days later
Chanté called me on Monday to tell
me about her dilemma. Tuesday and Wednesday swiftly passed. On Thursday I spoke to Chanté on the phone again.
“I’m taking the test,” came her suprisingly confident answer. “There’s nothing else I can do.” She sounded so confident and resolved in her decision.
I felt pain in my heart. What can I do? I  asked myself. Nothing but pray, I realized.
I’d recently read about Ezra and how he prayed on behalf of a discouraged Israel. Then I thought about how Moses also prayed on their behalf when they no longer trusted in God and His ability to perform His will. Yet Moses believed! Like Ezra and Moses, I knew I had to pray on behalf of my doubtful friend.
Looking for a Gethsemane spot to secretly and humbly pray, I walked across the hall to my sister’s empty room. After I knelt down a weird feeling of guilt overwhelmed me. Why did I feel guilty when I was there to pray for my best friend?
Quickly I identified the author of my guilty feeling: Satan. Slyly he whispered, “You can’t pray for your friend, because God won’t listen to you. You sin too much. He said ‘all things work together for good to them that love God’ [Romans 8:28, KJV]. You’re not good.”
Satan has probably harassed you, too. Maybe he persuaded you not to pray for your friend when they seriously needed it. Then you can relate to my experience. However, Satan is a liar (John 8:44)!
My guardian angel, who was also in the room, convinced me to give my sins to Jesus and sincerely place my petition before Him,  despite Satan’s harassment. So, kneeling on the harsh, uncomfortable carpet, I prayed for my friend. She needed the power of Jesus and His angels to fight Satan and his many lies.
Friday night phone call
Chanté called me in tears. “I have to take the test,” she cried.
Her outpouring of emotion confused me. Hadn’t she already decided to take the test?
“So what’s the problem?” I tried to clarify.
“I called the people and asked them if—” she sniffled, “I could take the test on another day.” She sniffled some more. “They said no.” She cried even more as she reminded herself of her failed efforts to solve her dilemma.
“Well, Chanté, you don’t have to do anything—”
“Yes, I do. The people put the test on that date, so there’s nothing I can do. I have to take the test.”
“You don’t have to do anything except put this situation in God’s hands. Just allow God to take care of this problem. Now, I understand how hard this decision is for you. Please don’t think that I don’t. Don’t worry about it so much. Let God take care of it.”
I paused to see whether or not she’d respond.
Finally she said, “I don’t want to leave it to chance.”
Astounded, I shot back, “Chanté, I’m not asking you to leave it to chance. I’m asking you to leave it in God’s hands. You’ve heard stories of people who’ve had problems, and they trusted in God.”
“Well, I’m not one of those people,” she retorted.
 “You can be, you know. I really wish I could tell you that everything will be OK. I  can’t, though, because you haven’t used every resource possible to solve this problem. I just wish you’d trust God.”
The conversation ended on that note.  Something was different about it, though. This time Chanté, in tears, really wanted assurance that everything would be OK, but she didn’t want to trust my suggested  Source.
I whispered a prayer for Chanté again. Then I wondered, If she doesn’t want God to help her, how can He help her?
I didn’t get to speak to Chanté on Saturday night, because I was away from home. When I got home, I checked my caller ID to see if she’d called. She had.
On Sunday I called her back to find out how things went for her on Sabbath. When she said she’d gone to church, I wondered, How could she go to church and still take the test?
Finally she confessed, “I didn’t take the test.”
“You didn’t?” I responded, excited.
“What made you change your mind?”
“Well, I would’ve felt very guilty.”
I smiled—I could hardly contain my excitement. God had answered my prayers! “Chanté, I’m so happy you decided not to take the test! I felt sure you were going to take it—I mean, you were so determined. God is the One who gave you the strength to do such a hard thing.”
Prayer’s power
Prayer changes things. Although I tried to convince Chanté that God would take care of her even if she didn’t take the test on Sabbath, I didn’t know how God would solve the problem; I just knew God had answered my prayers in the past. Always remember that God cares about our every care. He will send His angels to fly swiftly down to help us right on time, as He did for Chanté!
Although Chanté didn’t have a chance to retake her ACT test, it didn’t stop Southern Adventist University and Southwestern Adventist University from accepting her. Then she faced another dilemma—which school should she attend?
When she confided in me about this situation, I told her, “Pray about it. God will let you know which school He thinks you should attend.” I prayed too.
Sometime later Chanté received an e-mail from Southern Adventist University that stated they would give her approximately $17,000 in financial aid. That information made it clear that God wanted her at Southern Adventist University.
God answers prayers! He blessed Chanté overwhemingly, and I’m sure she’ll never forget the miracles He performed for her.

Bio: *Name has been changed.

LaFranche La Borde, a senior at Ozark Adventist Academy in Gentry, Arkansas, enjoys writing, singing, researching interesting subjects, exercising, reading biographies, spending time with family and friends, and attending Sabbath school and church.

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